Celtic and Rangers could join an English fifth-tier in 2019

The comments were made by Football League Chief Executive Shaun Harney

BY Daniel Kelly 13:02 Monday 29 August 2016, 13:02 29 Aug 2016

Celtic's Scott Brown and Rangers striker Kenny Miller. Picture by: Danny Lawson / PA Wire/Press Association Images

It's a never-ending question that has plagued Scottish football in recent memory. Could Celtic and Rangers make the move and join English football.

The two teams have regularly played English opposition in European competition. This season, Celtic and Manchester City have been drawn together in the Champions League.

From the 2019-20 season, the Football League plans to streamline their divisions, from three divisions of 24 teams, to four divisions of 20 teams. That could leave an opening for the two Glasgow sides.

The Chief Executive of the Football League has told The Telegraph that the 92 teams in the three divisions will have the final say on what teams join the yet to be named fifth tier if the plan goes ahead.

"One of the simple questions is, if this is to proceed, is where should the [new] teams come from?", Shaun Harvey said. "So the only ones who will decide that are the clubs themselves, so we will see what they say. I don’t want to pre-empt anything."

If the two teams were to be allowed join, should the plan go ahead, there could be a Scottish team in the Premier League as early as the 2023-24 season. Rangers have recent experience of trying to traverse their way through the divisions after being demoted from the SPL in 2012.

The Glasgow side took four years to get promoted through three divisions after returning to the Scottish Premiership this season. A third place finish in The Scottish Championship was their only slip-up in 2014-15.

While the chances of Celtic and Rangers moving south remain very slim, the prospect remains very appealing to many fans.


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